I have been QRT since putting in a single-band effort in the ARRL DX CW Contest two week-ends ago. Had house guest (cute young lass, friend of ours, visiting from SF…not gonna complain), so I dismantled my station to tranform it into a more comfortable guest room. Just got my autotuner sent back from LDG repair so I get to put it back in line, and stick the Drake MN-2000 back with the TR‑4/RV‑4 downstairs in the basement.
I decided I would participate single band in the DX contest – 80M – in order to statisfy a curiosity. I DO NOT have a very effective signal on 80M, but I have a pretty good location. I have 100W to a fairly weak receiver (FT-857D) to a low G5RV…33 feet into a Sycamore tree, 15 feet of one end bent vertically from about 25 foot and the other end gently sloping to 15′. 105 foot horizontal 12ga wire stripped from Romex…green on one side, white on the other. Radio Shack twin-lead that breaks if you look at it wrong. Ancient coax buried in the grass, and questionable taping job on a questionably soldered PL239. Don’t make an antenna like I make an antenna, son.
Worked 98 stations, in 52 countries. Operated a total of 8 hours between the two nights, and even got K5D on 80M CW in between. Highlights for me was to work New Zealand at their sunset.
Africa (CT3, D4, EA8)
Europe (9A, CT, DL, EA, F, G, GD, GM, DW, HA, HB, I, OK, OM, ON, PA, S5, SP, UA, UA2, UR, YO, YU)
North America (6Y, C6, CM, FM, J3, J7, J8, KL, KP2, KP4, V2, V3, V4, VP5, VP9, XE, YN, YS, ZF)
Oceania (KH6, ZL)
South America (HC, OA, P4, PJ2, PY)
Sadly, no Asia…I was probably asleep during any openings to JA. This was fun, pretty low expectation, fairly high reward. I wasn’t in it to win it, but I was in it to work everything I could hear. And I did too, except for one E7 and HA. I am pretty sure the stations I contacted in EU were very well equipped and were able to compensate for my lack of juice. That said, 100W and a low wire with CW and you will get out, I just proven to myself. Hopefully by next winter I will have a decent vertical antenna and some receive loops…I bet I double my QSO numbers.